Winter 2023 (Volume 33, Number 4)

Highlights of the Year from the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force

By Nicole Johnson, MD, FRCPC

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The Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Task Force continues to function in an advisory capacity to the CRA CEO and Board. The Task Force is helping the CRA to deepen its commitment to EDI by reviewing policies and other material and making recommendations/suggestions. Our EDI consultant, Amorell Saunders N’Daw, is actively supporting the work of the EDI Task Force and produced a report on the Annual Scientific Meeting in 2023 via an EDI and Accessibility (EDIA) lens, which is informing future meeting planning. There will be ongoing work to review CRA governance documents through an EDIA lens.

The EDI Task Force has resumed the Equity Corner in the CRA newsletters to highlight EDI issues, and we welcome contributions by CRA members to amplify any equity work. The CRA’s EDI journey was highlighted in the global segment of the annual meeting of the Association of Women in Rheumatology (AWIR) in both 2022 and 2023.

The Task Force members also contribute to the CRA community by offering educational opportunities to CRA members. Examples include a plenary segment on Structural Competency for the Ontario Rheumatology Association, and presentations to the LEAdership Program (LEAP). Workshops by task force members on inclusive medical education and trauma-informed care were presented at the CRA Annual Scientific Meeting in 2023 and are available for review on the CRA’s members’ portal. At the upcoming Annual Scientific Meeting in March 2024, the Task Force will be presenting a workshop on cross-cultural communication in rheumatology care. This was a topic of interest identified through the annual membership needs assessment, so we look forward to an informative and interactive session with CRA members.

The CRA EDI Special Project, sponsored through an unrestricted grant from Pfizer Canada, has launched its three-part webinar series on healthcare inequities in rheumatology. In October, the first guest speaker of the series was Dr. Grace Wright, President of the Association of Women in Rheumatology (AWIR). The recording of this presentation is accessible through the members’ portal of the CRA website.

Upcoming webinars will feature dynamic speakers including Dr. Lynden (Lindsay) Crowshoe, a Blackfoot primary care physician and researcher, who will speak on health equity action for Indigenous, First Nations and Inuit communities in January 2024 (look out for the date), and
Dr. Katherine Smart, a pediatrician in Whitehorse and a past-president of the Canadian Medical Association, who will address health equity considerations for rural and remote communities in February 2024. In collaboration with Dr. Cheryl Barnabe and her CIORA research team, the EDI Special Project also supported the production of an online educational resource on health equity in rheumatology which will launch shortly on the University of Calgary website, and to which CRA members and Arthritis Health Professions Association (AHPA) members will have exclusive initial access. We strongly encourage CRA members to access this resource once available. More information will be circulated once the website is active.

As always, the Task Force welcomes any feedback, comments, and ideas from our CRA members. Please reach out by emailing our coordinator, Erin Stewart, at

CRA EDI Task Force Members:

  • Dr. Nicole Johnson, Chair
  • Dr. Aurore Fifi-Mah
  • Dr. Natasha Gakhal
  • Dr. Susan Humphrey-Murto
  • Dr. Raphaël Kraus
  • Dr. Manisha Mulgund
  • Dr. Trudy Taylor
  • Dr. Alan Zhou
  • EDI consultant: Ms. Amorell Saunders N’Daw
  • Administrative support: Ms. Erin Stewart

Pictured from left to right: Alan Zhou, Natasha Gakhal,
Nicole Johnson, Aurore Fifi-Mah, Raphaël Kraus,
Amorell Saunders N’Daw, and Trudy Taylor.
Absent: Manisha Mulgund and Susan Humphrey-Murto

Nicole Johnson, MD, FRCPC
Pediatric Rheumatologist,
Clinical Associate Professor,
University of Calgary
Chair, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, CRA
Calgary, Alberta


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